David Ellis, Valerie Hegarty, Shin il Kim, Andrea Loefke, Meridith Pingree, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Kwabena Slaughter, Austin Thomas, and Kai Vierstra
October 15th – November 14th, 2004
Smack Mellon proudly presents 9x, a show featuring work by artists currently involved in the 2004 Studio Program. The Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program was launched in 2000 in response to the crisis in availability of affordable workspace for artists living and working in New York City. The Artist Studio Program provides free studio space with unlimited access and a fellowship to eligible artists for a one-year period. Studio artists also have the opportunity to exhibit their work at Open Studios twice a year and participate in scheduled visits with curators, critics and gallerists, which have proven to be invaluable career building opportunities.
These nine artists work in a variety of mediums, from video to painting to installation. Though their subject matter and presentation of these ideas may have little in common, their unconventional use of their mediums is very much alike. In their practice, these artists get results not from being confined by a chosen medium but by either pushing its defined boundaries or combining genres together.
Over several months during his residency, David Ellis photographed the process of making his paintings. The results are presented in a time-lapse video. Ellis will also exhibit hand-fabricated, painted drums that play themselves through an elaborate set up of various mechanics. A new, large-scale wall painting will also be on view.
Taking into account the existing architecture of Smack Mellon, Valerie Hegarty creates an illusion of an explosion blowing apart the back brick wall of the gallery, suspending the action in time. Hegarty's work creates new, transitional spaces within an existing architecture. By feeding off elements already there or collaging onto the original structure, she creates the illusion of an environment under construction or altogether forgotten.
Shin il Kim uses 200 pressed line drawings on paper as the basis for his animation The Thinker. In this work, he combines drawing and video to focus on issues of representation of sculpture. His method recreates Rodin's original Thinker into a new form that represents the Eastern philosophical concept of the void, a state between being and not being.
Andrea Loefke employs knitting, sewing, drawing, painting and other techniques along with found objects and colorful, decorative, kitschy supplies to fabricate interactive fictional dreamscapes. The individual components interact with their surroundings to create environments united through scale, color palette, sound, form and materials. Purposefully placed throughout the space, the objects serve as markings on pathways that lead the viewer through these fairy-like worlds.
Meridith Pingree creates an overhead reactive force of kinetic mood lanterns. This molecularly arranged mass reacts to the public by moving, clenching and subtly changing in color. The amorphous effect terminates at an intimate focal point. Small pumps release droplets onto a dish, as the fully agitated modules above release, creating byproduct mementos of our time and space.
Karina Aguilera Skvirsky presents Embedded, a single channel video that plays off of the idea of reporters embedded in Iraq. In Embedded, Iraqi figures from the news are "embedded" in the interior architectural space of Smack Mellon. Embedded explores the mundane gestures, postures and actions that are depicted in the news rather than the more violent realities of what is occurring in the world. Aguilera Skvirsky's public art projectGarden State will also be included in the show. Initially taking the form as a series of projections during the Republican National Convention, Aguilera Skvirsky has created posters of the same image and invites the public to take one from the gallery and post it in public spaces around their neighborhoods.
Kwabena Slaughter investigates the question, "What if photography grew out of the flattened perspective seen in Byzantine painting?" Slaughter uses his body and invented photographic processes to respond to this inquiry. The responses are recorded as one unbroken image that spans an entire roll of film and is presented on lightboxes.
Austin Thomas addresses concepts of personal connection and self-awareness by creating environments for social interaction in which the viewer becomes a participant. For this show, Thomas presents her Open Shut Case, 2004, which functions as a mobile patio. Two handmade folding chairs and a barbecue cart sit perched on the balcony of the gallery and are encouraged to be used by visitors.
Dana Kainalu Vierstra's sculpture Parabolic Frequency Conversion – with Perimeter Protection is a community of two. One is structured on the inborn logic of defensive posturing, while the other harvests a signal which bridges theological sense and scientific understanding. The latter occupies the center, as it has a more advanced and civilized system of subjugation.